An Oxford graduation ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate all the hard work and effort you have put into your degree. On the day of your graduation, you will process from the College to the Sheldonian Theatre with your fellow Nuffield graduands. During the ceremony, the degree that you have been working towards will be officially conferred. Then, you will leave the Sheldonian Theatre and, after a quick outfit-change into the gown and hood of your newly-qualified status, you re-enter the Sheldonian to the cheers and applause of the audience.
After the ceremony, you will be invited to return to Nuffield with your guests to enjoy the in-College celebrations.
It is sure to be a day to remember!
Please read the FAQs below for more information about graduations:
In order to graduate, you must first fulfill your degree requirements. For students on taught postgraduate courses, this means that you will need to pass all of your specified course requirements (please check your individual course documents for these). During the last year of your course, you will automatically receive an email notification asking you to sign up for a degree ceremony on a date that suits you.
For those of you completing research degrees (most commonly the DPhil), you will need to submit your thesis and sit an oral examination called a 'viva', which will normally be presided by one internal and one external examiner. Once the examiners are satisfied that you have fulfilled the requirements of the DPhil, you will be given Leave to Supplicate, after which you will be invited to sign up for a graduation ceremony.
Students are also required to provide a digital copy of their thesis to the Oxford Research Archive. DPhil, MLitt and MSc by research students must give a hardbound copy of their thesis to the Bodleian and to the College Library (MPhil students are also required to do the latter). In the event of difficulty logging in to ORA thesis submission contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, candidates should also ensure that they have settled any outstanding College debts.
It is highly recommended that you select a graduation ceremony from the dates offered to you, or choose to graduate in absentia. Colleges are allocated a certain number of spaces at graduation ceremonies each year, in a way that is designed to ensure that students have the opportunity to graduate in person within one year of completing their studies. Because ceremony capacity is limited, we have little flexibility outside of this, and if you wish to graduate at a later date you will usually be placed on a waiting list with no guarantee of a place.
If you cannot attend on any of the dates offered to you, please contact the Academic Officer for advice. We will do what we can to help, but much of the process is outside of our control and we cannot guarantee you a ceremony place outside of those originally offered to you.
We have also found that not graduating as soon as possible can cause a number of issues regarding visas and employment.
You will require two gowns (and hoods where appropriate):
- You will arrive for the ceremony wearing the gown of your current Oxford status. If you are graduating from your first Oxford degree, this will be the Oxford Graduate (Advanced Student) Gown. If you already hold a degree or degrees from Oxford, you must wear the gown and hood of your highest Oxford degree.
- At the appropriate point in the ceremony, you will change into the gown and hood of the Oxford degree you are receiving.
You must wear full academic dress. As well as gowns, this includes:
- A mortar board or soft cap
- Sub fusc: your preferred choice of items among: a dark suit with dark socks, or a dark skirt with black tights/stockings or dark trousers with dark socks; plain white collared shirt or blouse; white bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon; black shoes; dark coat if required.
- Exceptions apply for members of the British Armed Forces; ministers of religion, and those who wear a headdress or scarf for religious reasons. Please see the university website for further details if this applies to you.
Information about what to wear will be sent to you prior to your graduation by the Academic Officer, and you are very welcome to contact her at any time with any queries.
As of July 2019, all graduands automatically receive two free tickets for guests to attend the graduation ceremony. You may be allocated additional tickets, subject to availability, but this can usually not be confirmed until close to the date of the ceremony.
Graduands may invite up to six guests to attend the in-College celebrations at Nuffield, and DPhil graduands may also invite their supervisor.
The Academic Officer will contact you ahead of your graduation to confirm how many guests you intend to bring to both the graduation ceremony and the College celebration. You may also request additional tickets at this time, but please note that the College does not control the allocation of extra tickets.
Except for degree ceremonies that take place in August, degree certificates are sent to the College by the Degree Conferrals Office a few days before the Ceremony, and will be given to you by the Dean of Degrees or Senior Tutor on the day (or posted if you are graduating in absentia).
For degree ceremonies held in August, certificates are sent directly to candidates by post, to the graduate’s home address held by the University (please contact the Academic Officer if you are not sure which address this is, or you want to change it).
Please see the central university website for information about replacement degree certificates and verification of qualifications.
Transcripts are also administered provided by the central university, unless you commenced your studies prior to Michaelmas Term 2007. If this applies to you, please contact the Academic Officer with your transcript request.